May 30 - According to reports in the international business media, one of the main creditors of indebted Korean shipping group Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has said that meaningful progress is being made with international ship owners to cut the leasing
Korea Development Bank is reported to have stated that an agreement is expected to be reached in the next few days, which would be a remarkable turnaround from a week ago when many media reports predicted that the line was headed for receivership.
Significantly impacted by slowing global trade, especially falling demand in China, the debt-ridden operator has been negotiating with overseas ship owners to cut fees since February. Cutting charter fees is just one of the conditions that creditors have demanded in exchange for resettlement of HMM's debts and the shipping group still has to persuade non-secured bondholders to extend the maturity of their debt.
HMM launched its heavy lift and project cargo service in 2007 and has established a substantial market share in both projects and industrial plant in Korea, a primary hub of Asian project activities and a primary source of project-related equipment.